Culture is What People Care About
Are you a consultant, agile coach, or employee of a company? Lol. That’s all of you!
Here’s the hard truth: You are not as effective as you possibly could be.
I know first-hand what it’s like going into a company and not having the faintest clue as to what they are really like. Yes, I got the “brief,” I’ve had the meetings, I even had a few 1-on-1’s, but I really haven’t gotten the whole story. Often, it’s 100% my fault too, as I had not set up the engagement to allow me greater time to sit down and more fully understand the culture…Hey. I’m still human. Oh, and it’s even harder in this remote-work world we live in…
I would venture that you may have experienced something like this as well… You and I both know that it’s really difficult to get a solid pulse on the cultural and team dynamics at play – sometimes we’re simply flying blind. And, you don’t have to be a consultant or coach for this problem to emerge. Anytime you engage with a new team, a new group in your company, a new employee, sometimes we just don’t have the time to get to know people… and that’s the problem.
I see this happen in startups all the time. They can scale so fast that there simply is NO culture to be had. NO culture that defines them. It’s crazy. Now, there are lots of ways people define culture. But I’ll give you mine: Culture is what people care about. In companies that scale super fast, nobody knows what anyone else cares about. This creates a culture of transactional behavior. Success doesn’t come from such mechanistic models.
If you never find the time to understand what people care about, you’ll never truly understand how to strengthen the bonds and communication pathways between employees, staff, and management.
Simply put, if you don’t know what your employees care about (or your clients), you do not have a culture, and you cannot know how to nurture people’s growth.
It’s time to build “Agile Culture,” not just an agile method for a team. I recommend, especially in this remote-work world we live in, to set up 15 minute chats with other people in your company.
Guess what? Those conversations are going to be awkward. That’s good.
Ask questions. Lots of them. Just chat. It’ll be weird, but you both knew that going in.
Spending time at work, only talking about work, with the same people in your company (or same team), day-in-and-day-out, kinda sucks.
The more you get to know others in your company (especially if you’re more than 50 people), allows you to have experiences, now. Potentially fun conversations that last more than 15 minutes… and who knows… maybe you’ll learn a thing or two.
You’re work from home right now, right?
Why the hell not.
I do it with my clients and company. It’s time well spent.